For years, people living near the Taj Mahal have burned fuel and garbage. Slowly, tiny pieces of those fires are changing the marble on the Taj Mahal from bright white to brownish yellow. The pollution leaves particles that change the marble’s color.
The Yamuna River, which runs through Agra, is heavily polluted by industries around the capital Delhi, which is about hundred and fifty kilometers up the river.
At the end of the last century the government realized the growing problem and started a program to save the monument’s shiny whitemarble façade because it was turning yellow. Over $150 million were spent on restoration but it did not help much. Corrosion has continued and acid rain has also caused a change in the color of the façade. Some years ago restoration experts started putting mud packs around the façade to bring back the building’s shiny white color.
The government and city authorities have taken measures to protect India’s greatest sight. Pollution stations around Agra monitor air quality around the clock. Car traffic has been banned within two kilometers of the monument. Electric and battery driven cars and buses then take tourists to the site. A natural gas pipeline is also in discussion. Factories and industries around Agra should be persuaded to change to cleaner forms of energy.